This sounds cool. It’s something a lot of us in the birthing world have wanted to see for quite some time. Rather ambitious and expensive (to the tune of $5,000,000!), and it will take 5 years to complete, but it might provide some answers to questions. A lot of questions. If you are pregnant (26 weeks or earlier) and live in Edmonton or Calgary, you may qualify to join the study (I don’t know the study parameters, so you’d have to get in touch with the researchers — To participate in the study or, for more information, please contact Jacqueline Jumpsen at 780-240-1133 or visit http://www.apronstudy.ca).
Basically, they are going to interview women throughout their pregnancies and then again once the babies are born (and apparently yearly for 4 years), to see what effect, if any, prenatal nutrition has on the developing fetus, newborn, and young child. Women will give blood so researchers can look at the nutrient levels in their blood, then see if that has any effect on their children. They will also complete questionnaires about themselves, the baby’s father, their nutrition (hopefully more than just weight gained, but actual foods consumed), etc., before birth; and after birth, the baby will be assessed (perhaps by the mothers filling out another questionnaire, perhaps by taking them to a research center for the scientists to assess), blood drawn, etc.
“A lot of studies start when the baby is born,” Field said. “There are quite a few studies that are following cohorts of babies and they try to estimate what the women consumed during pregnancy, but they won’t have the detailed data we have. This may be a rich database for many people to look at with questions completely different from ours.”